For more on Saslaw’s obnoxious, bizarre comments see the Checks and Balances Project (C&BP). A few highlights:
- C&BP Executive Director Scott Peterson “pointed out that last year, Dominion was the largest donor to state-level politicians with over $1.3 million in campaign contributions.* ‘No wonder Dominion Virginia gets its way when it comes to energy in Virginia.'”
*Peterson writes: “I had Senator Saslaw’s attention now. In fact, he appeared to be glaring at me.“
- Saslaw doubled down on what he said in March 2014 (“Video: In Crude Language, Sen. Dick Saslaw Argues that Ethics Laws are Irrelevant, Unnecessary”), regarding how you “can’t legislate ethics,” because “either you’re dishonest or you’re not.” Ugh.
- Saslaw refused to let Peterson respond, then “before I could sit down…bounded up the aisle toward me…walked up and leaned in within inches of my face…told me that he had been interviewed by the FBI who told him that the way he handled campaign contributions was not corrupt.”
- As for the following exchange, it needs to be quoted in full to believe:
He seemed not to understand, so I repeated the word “apologist.” He then explained how he had gotten Virginia Dominion President Robert Blue and a solar chieftain together to try and work out their differences. I countered with the fact that the Sierra Club’s climate and energy scorecard had given Senator Saslaw an overall grade of D, while three Republican delegates received B’s.
“Well,” Senator Saslaw huffed. “Everyone knows they’re crazy!” He invited me to visit him in Richmond, then walked off.
Of course, when Saslaw talks about how “everyone knows,” he’s talking about the
people corporate interests he hangs out with (lobbyists from Dominion, the Virginia Bankers Association, Verizon, the Beer Wholesalers, the Auto Dealers, the Trial Lawyers, the Wine Wholesalers, the Realtors, the coal companies, etc, etc.).
Bottom line: Dick Saslaw continues to represent the antithesis of where Virginia should be going on ethics legislation. He also should be an embarrassment to any Virginia Democrat with a moral compass. Sad to say – at least as far as I can determine – he remains as Majority Leader in large part due to his ability to raise s***-tons of money from Dominion Power and many other wealthy, powerful corporations. The problem, other than the massive ethics #FAIL of doing the bidding of companies who contribute huge sums of money to you, is that Saslaw’s utterly incompetent in what he DOES with the money, such as blowing hundreds of thousands of dollars on an unwinnable special election for Phil Puckett’s Senate seat in a 2:1 Cuccinelli district, or losing control of the State Senate in district lines drawn/approved by him. And that’s not even counting the fact that Saslaw completely missed the embezzlement of $600,000 of his own money by trusted advisors. But, again, as Saslaw himself says, you can’t legislate that kind of thing. So, by that fascinating “reasoning,” I guess Saslaw won’t be pressing charges against the people who stole his money? Talk about “crazy.”